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Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Jun 8, 2010 8:05pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: copyright alert (Panic in the Streets)

It was written here: "Whoever searched for the renewal may have missed it because it was done a year early."

Actually, this was not a year early. This was a timely renewal. The original copyright was dated July 3, 1950, so the renewal window opened July 3, 1977 (the 27th anniversary of the effective date of the copyright, which under the law in effect in 1977; under the law at that time, the 27th anniversary was the earliest date which would be lawful). By renewing August 24, 1977, the copyright holder filed one and a half months into the window, which was early in the permitted time window but still lawful.

Unless someone knows a reason why this renewal was invalid for a reason other than timeliness, it looks like this film remains under copyright. Twentieth Century-Fox held onto virtually all their films rather than selling to other companies, with this film continuing to be among the films they distribute, so the filing of the renewal by TCF looks good. (In other words, this is NOT an instance of a renewal invalid owing to the wrong party filing it.) The film itself has what looks like a valid copyright notice, naming TCF as copyright holder and giving the correct date of 1950, so the copyright notice does NOT lead to a defective copyright.

Is there any reason other than these why anyone concluded that the film is not under copyright. Every point considered indicates a valid copyright during the initial 28-year period and a valid renewal thereafter. From the looks of it, this film will remain under copyright until the year 2045.